The record dates back to the start of last season and includes all six of UConn’s NCAA tournament games during its national championship run.
“It’s great to share a record with the men from last year’s team,” coach Dan Hurley told reporters after Monday’s game. “The men from this year’s team and the men from last year’s team, they’re such great men. Andre [Jackson] and Adama [Sanogo] and Jordan [Hawkins] and Nahiem [Alleyne] and Joey [Calcaterra], just the whole group. It’s great to share something with them that will be tough to break, I think, moving forward in today’s game, with the portal and everything that’s going on.
“I think it just speaks to the respect we have for our opponents, the level of preparation we put in for every single game, and just the formula these guys buy into. The rebounding, the defense, the sharing the ball on offense. I’m proud of it.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, North Carolina’s 23 straight double-digit wins over nonconference opponents from November 2008 to November 2009 was the longest such streak since 1950.
Like the Tar Heels, UConn included a dominant run to the national championship in its streak. The Huskies won all 11 of their nonconference games by double digits last season, ascending as high as No. 2 in the AP poll. After finishing in a tie for fourth place in the Big East, UConn received a 4-seed in the NCAA tournament and immediately began playing like the team that blew everyone out during the first half of the season.
The Huskies won their six games en route to the national championship by an average of 20.0 points, the fourth-largest average margin since the NCAA tournament expanded in 1985. They were the fifth team since 1985 to win all six of their tournament games by double digits, capped off with a 76-59 win over San Diego State in the title game.
Despite the loss of three starters and an injury to projected lottery pick Stephon Castle, UConn’s momentum to end last season carried over to 2023-24. Entering Monday, the Huskies ranked third nationally in scoring margin, beating teams by an average of 29.5 points per game. Only one opponent — Texas — has lost by fewer than 20 points.
There was very little drama involved in Monday’s win. New Hampshire scored the first points of the game, but UConn went on a 16-0 run in the opening 10 minutes and cruised from there. The Wildcats cut the lead to single digits with 5:03 left in the first half but never got closer — and UConn left zero doubt about the margin of victory. The Huskies led by at least 15 points for the entirety of the second half.
Clingan scored 16 first-half points and connected on his first 10 attempts from the field, finishing with a career-high 29 points and seven rebounds. Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton complemented the big man with 17 points apiece.
UConn will look to continue the streak in perhaps its most difficult nonconference game of the past two seasons: Friday’s road trip to face No. 5 Kansas in the Big East-Big 12 Battle. Then come games against No. 17 North Carolina and No. 11 Gonzaga in December.
“The games coming up are really going to show what the team’s about and going to show everyone who we are,” Clingan said.